Last week saw more evidence that U.S. economic growth is rebounding from the first quarter’s weather-induced contraction.

Favorable data showing improving growth – including a dramatic acceleration in jobs growth, a jump in pending home sales and a further rise in new manufacturing orders –fueled stock gains, helping the market kick off a strong start to the second half of the year.

Assuming the economic strength continues as I expect it to, a stronger economy is likely to impact the investment climate for both stocks and bonds in the second half of the year. To position portfolios for such an environment, investors may want to consider two moves in particular.

Adopt a cyclical bias in equities

As I’ve emphasized in recent weeks, though stocks aren’t cheap, I believe they can climb modestly higher in the second half amid continued economic improvement, and they continue to look more attractively priced than the alternatives. As such, I continue to favor stocks over bonds, though I believe a selective approach is key.

Within equities, I favor cyclical stocks — those most sensitive to economic growth — as they are likely to experience the biggest tailwind. Specifically, I see opportunities in energy and financials, as well as in select parts of the technology sector.

Avoid shorter-term bonds

The outlook for bonds largely depends on the length of their maturity. Last week’s data, combined with other recent employment indicators and some signs of higher inflation, may lead the Federal Reserve (Fed) to begin raising short-term interest rates. To the extent this occurs earlier than investors expect, shorter-term bonds –those with maturities between two and five years – are likely to be the most vulnerable, and could see their value fall.

Of course, while last week’s economic numbers are a hopeful sign that the economy is finally beginning to accelerate, how the stock and bond markets perform in the second half of the year – and, how the Fed reacts – all depend on this growth trend continuing.

Sources: BlackRock, Bloomberg

Investopedia and BlackRock have or may have had an advertising relationship, either directly or indirectly. This post is not paid for or sponsored by BlackRock, and is separate from any advertising partnership that may exist between the companies. The views reflected within are solely those of BlackRock and their Authors.

Russ Koesterich, CFA, is the Chief Investment Strategist for BlackRock and iShares Chief Global Investment Strategist.

Fixed income risks include interest-rate and credit risk. Typically, when interest rates rise, there is a corresponding decline in bond values. Credit risk refers to the possibility that the bond issuer will not be able to make principal and interest payments.

Related Articles
  1. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: Vanguard Total World Stock

    Learn about the Vanguard Total World Stock exchange-traded fund, which invests in stocks located in numerous countries with a high level of diversification.
  2. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility

    Find out about the PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility ETF, and learn detailed information about this fund that provides exposure to low-volatility stocks.
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares US Real Estate

    Learn about the iShares US Real Estate fund, which holds shares of equity and nonequity real estate investment trusts incorporated in the United States.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares S&P Mid-Cap 400 Growth

    Learn about the iShares S&P Mid-Cap 400 Growth exchange-traded fund, which invests in U.S. equities of mid-cap companies that show above-average growth rates.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: SPDR Barclays Short Term Hi Yld Bd

    Find out about the SPDR Barclays Short Term High Yield Bond ETF, and explore detailed analysis of the fund that tracks short-term, high-yield corporate bonds.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: SPDR Barclays Short Term Corp Bd

    Learn about the SPDR Barclays Short-Term Corporate Bond ETF, and explore detailed analysis of the exchange-traded fund tracking U.S. short-term corporate bonds.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond

    Find out about the Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond ETF, and delve into detailed analysis of this fund that invests in investment-grade intermediate-term bonds.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares Gold Trust

    Learn about the SPDR Gold Shares ETF, how it tracks the price of gold, and what type of investors may want to hold shares in their portfolios.
  9. Active Trading Fundamentals

    Arbitrage Pricing Theory: It's Not Just Fancy Math

    What are the main ideas behind arbitrage pricing theory? We provide a simple explanation of the model and how to use it.
  10. Investing

    6 Reasons Why Every Investor Should Consider ETFs

    Once you understand the benefits of ETFs, you’ll see how they could be an exciting and smart way to help meet your financial goals. Here some key facts.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF)

    A security that tracks an index, a commodity or a basket of assets ...
  2. Compound Annual Growth Rate - CAGR

    The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) is the mean annual growth ...
  3. Return On Investment - ROI

    A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment ...
  4. Systematic Manager

    A manager who adjusts a portfolio’s long and short-term positions ...
  5. Unconstrained Investing

    An investment style that does not require a fund or portfolio ...
  6. Sharpe Ratio

    A ratio developed by Nobel laureate William F. Sharpe to measure ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What does a high turnover ratio signify for an investment fund?

    If an investment fund has a high turnover ratio, it indicates it replaces most or all of its holdings over a one-year period. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between passive and active asset management?

    Asset management utilizes two main investment strategies that can be used to generate returns: active asset management and ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What percentage of a diversified portfolio should large cap stocks comprise?

    The percentage of a diversified investment portfolio that should consist of large-cap stocks depends on an individual investor's ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What types of assets lower portfolio variance?

    Assets that have a negative correlation with each other reduce portfolio variance. Variance is one measure of the volatility ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How can I determine if my portfolio is overweight in certain sectors?

    You can determine if your portfolio is overweight in certain sectors by performing a regular review of your portfolio allocations. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How can I hedge my portfolio to protect from a decline in the food and beverage sector?

    The food and beverage sector exhibits greater volatility than the broader market and tends to suffer larger-than-average ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!